Rape survivor legally denied medical termination of pregnancy

Dalit Woman Attacked

A pregnant 16-year-old rape survivor from Bareilly has requested the state government to put up her child for adoption after it is born, as reported by TOI. She was raped by her employer who had promised to marry her but did not fulfil it. She then went on to appeal for a medical termination of pregnancy (MTP) in the courts but the appeals were also denied.

As her case was heard in the courts, she had crossed the tolerable limit for termination. In the past, other cases have had courts permitting MTP even after the allowable limit but no such exception was made for this particular case.

Also read: Let’s not skirt the issue of sexual violence

When the lower court and the fast-track court did not heed the request,  the girl’s father moved the Allahabad High Court which demanded him to get a medical check-up of the girl from the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of a local hospital. When the girl and her father reached the hospital for the check-up they were kept unattended. The CMO was busy with a government event of marking the Tehsil Divas and did not even assign their case to someone else.

The girl who is now 32 weeks pregnant and her father were asked to leave and come next day. It took a week for her reports to arrive in which she is again refused an MTP.

Fed up with the system, now the girl will file another appeal in the High Court questioning the future of the baby as the accused rapist and his family is not taking the responsibility of it. For the girl’s family it would just be another mouth to feed for her father who is a daily-wage labourer.

Also read: Understanding Sexual Violence: 3 years, 50 scholars, 5 countries

“I will not be in a position to raise the baby because of our finances and because the child will be a constant reminder of my trauma and shame,” she said.

Furthermore, the girl’s father main worry is that no one will come forward to marry her if she has a child before marriage. And to complicate matters more, their entire village is against this pregnancy and they have even received warnings to leave the village if the baby is born.

Feature Image: meri-k.org